49.256 Epinotia cinereana (Haworth, 1811)
Aspen, Populus tremula is not a common tree in my area but is a species which has an associated rich moth fauna. There are a couple of fairly well known Aspen stands of around 20 odd trees each in Killarney National Park, in particular one nice group at Dinis. It is the only site where I can regularly record the Seraphim Lobophora halterata, earlier in the season.
On the night of 29th July 2022 I headed down there for a short moth trapping session, a 3km cycle on the bike with my 80mv trap balancing on the crossbar! It was a “good night” weather-wise with plenty of moth activity. Peppered Moths Biston betularia and Grey Arches Polia nebulosa providing a few shocks as they came crashing in!
Around midnight I was admiring a fresh Cydia splendana when another Tortrix landed on the sheet. Clearly something I had not had before. It was quite striking, clean and monochrome. I potted it and looked it up later and felt it was a good candidate for Epinotia cinereana. It was sent to Ken Bond who confirmed by genital dissection that it was indeed a female Epinotia cinereana, the first confirmed record in Ireland.
This is a species once considered a subspecies of Epinotia nisella, but now considered a species in its own right. It feeds on Aspen whereas E. nisella feeds on Sallows Salix sp. and there are various genital differences.
Thanks to Ken Bond for confirming the identification.